World Health Day 2023: 7 natural supplements to take every day for optimal health
World Health Day 2023: From boosting immunity to preventing chronic diseases, natural supplements can work wonders for our overall health.
Your immune system is the best defence against seasonal illnesses and infections that can disrupt your mental peace and impact you daily routine. It is important to keep your immunity in good shape to fight diseases and maintain optimal health. There are a variety of natural supplements one can add to their diet to stay healthy. They can also help manage or prevent chronic diseases by strengthening the body with their antioxidant or anti-inflammatory effect and tackle nutritional deficiencies. From hormonal imbalance, liver health, cholesterol, digestive health, heart health to skin and hair health, there are natural supplements that help manage these health issues. However, one must only take them on advice of their health expert. (Also read: World Health Day 2023: 11 everyday aches and pains you shouldn't ignore)
On the occasion of World Health Day (April 7), Khushboo Jain Tibrewala, Nutritionist and Diabetes Educator and Founder of The Health Pantry suggests 7 supplements one can take for overall health.
1. Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle or Silybum marianum contains an active compound called Silymarin. This compound is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It can reduce liver inflammation and liver damage. It reduces free radical damage caused by exposure to toxins. Milk thistle also slows age-related brain function decline, improves insulin sensitivity, slows post-menopausal bone loss and more. But the main reason why milk thistle supplements are great for almost everyone today is that we are constantly exposed to toxins that come through pollution, body products, food additives, cigarette smoking, increased social alcohol drinking, etc. Most of us need to protect our livers from exposure to such toxins.
A 200 mg dose daily is safe for almost everyone and a great place to start. However, it is key to speak to your nutritionist before you start the supplement.
2. Turmeric Extract
India has revered turmeric for centuries. And only recently has the rest of the world identified what we knew all along. Turmeric is one of those foods that benefits every single cell in the body. It protects every single organ from damage, it reduces inflammation, improves immune health, and more. It lowers heart diseases, helps prevent cancer, can help with autoimmune disorders and is an effective antidepressant.
Taking a turmeric supplement (nor curcumin) that contains black pepper 'piperine' as well as some type of fat, like coconut oil is great.
We’ve all heard of fish oil and krill oil being consumed for their omega-3 fatty acid content. Algae oil is a vegetarian source. Omega-3 fatty acid is one nutrient that is lacking in our current diets. Omega-3 helps reduce inflammation in the body. It also helps reduce cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, improves hormone balance, improves insulin sensitivity, and vision and has been shown to reduce depression.
Spirulina is a blue green algae that is dried and powdered for consumption. Spirulina is a great source of protein and copper. Each tablespoon of spirulina contains 4g of high quality, complete protein. It contains an active compound called 'phycocyanin' that reduces oxidative damage, reduces HbA1c, cholesterol, blood pressure and other markers of metabolic syndrome. It is also very good for individuals with allergic rhinitis. It's also excellent for athletes and muscle growth.
Triphala is a combination of 3 herbs, i.e. haritaki, amalaki and bhibhitaki. This supplement relieves constipation and acidity, improves immunity, balances the stressful mind, protects liver from damage and aids fat loss. Triphala should always be consumed with water in the morning on an empty stomach.
Garlic contains an active compound called allicin that promises multiple health benefits. In fact, the use of garlic as a health remedy has been documented across civilizations right from India to the Romans, Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese. Garlic adds years to your life because of all the benefits it offers. It reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, slows the development of Alzheimer’s, helps the liver eliminate heavy metals, and helps athletes improve their cardiovascular fitness and recovery. Single-clove garlic is known to have the best medicinal properties. Consuming one, every morning along with a few drops of honey is a great thing to do.
This compound is found in grapes, berries, peanuts and red wine. Resveratrol reduces fats in the blood (which alone can solve a lot of health problems). It also slows down age-related changes in the skin and brain. It improves insulin sensitivity which prevents and manages PCOS, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver and more. Because of its anti-inflammatory effect, it can also reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.
"While most of these supplements are safe and beneficial for most people, it is crucial you discuss these with your Nutritionist or Physician before starting," says Tibrewala.